Pet Friendly Apartments: Five Questions to Ask Before You Sign a Lease

This is a guest blog post by Sydney, a Local Apartment Expert at 407apartments, an Orlando apartment search that helps renters find an apartment that meets their lifestyle and budget.

Whether you currently have a furry family member or plan to adopt in the future, it is important to fully understand your apartment community’s pet policies and fees. It is not difficult to find a pet friendly apartment in Orlando. There are hundreds of options to fit any lifestyle and budget. However, according to our friends at Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando, one of the major reasons that pets are surrendered to local shelters is because the place they choose to live will not accept their dog. This challenging situation can be avoided, so long as renters ask these five questions before signing a lease!

1) Are there any weight or breed restrictions?

Did you know that some apartments are more pet friendly than others? Your first and most important question should cover weight and breed restrictions. It is important to note that weight and breed restrictions are not an opinion of the management or staff of the apartment community. They are bound to these restrictions by their insurance policies or lease agreements. I know what you’re thinking, “But, how will they know?” After you sign your lease, you will be asked to provide documentation of your pet’s weight, breed, and shot records and they will be kept on file.

2) What is the monthly pet rent?

If you plan to live in a new apartment with pets, you’ll need to budget for the monthly pet rent. Common pet rents can range from $25-100 per month, per pet. The monthly pet rent helps cover any potential damage (think scratched doors or carpet stains) as well as the pet-friendly amenities you’ll enjoy throughout the community. When weighing your apartment options, keep notes about the monthly pet rents so you can make an informed decision on which apartment will best fit your budget.

3) Is there a pet deposit? Is this deposit refundable?

Most apartments will require a pet deposit before move-in in addition to the typical damage or security deposit. Pet deposits can range depending on each community’s policies. The pet deposit could technically be a fee, meaning that it will never be refunded. Alternatively, the pet deposit might be refundable after you move out if there is no pet-related damage to your apartment. The deposit could be for the entire apartment, or per-pet if you plan to have more than 1 animal. Be sure to ask ahead of time, so that you can budget appropriately!

4) Are there any restrictions on the number of pets allowed in each apartment?

You’ll want to ask how many pets are allowed in each apartment home. “Pets” can refer to dogs, cats, birds, and aquariums. Again, you might be thinking, “But, how will they know?” Apartments typically perform routine inspections throughout the year, or you may have a maintenance technician enter your apartment at your request in response to a work order. Trust me, you don’t want to find yourself trying to hide your cat and his litter box in the closet because you are over the pet limit. Set you and your furry family members up for success, and make sure you know how many pets are allowed before you sign your lease.

5) What amenities do you offer for pet owners?

Great news for pet owners, recently pet-friendly amenities have been in high demand among Orlando renters! Many apartments have installed dog parks, often referred to as Paw Parks or Bark Parks, and many of the new apartments in the area are being built with this highly sought-after pet friendly amenity. Some dog parks even offer pet wash stations nearby, with a platform, collar anchor, and hose so that you can give your dog a bath after exploring the park.

As you’re touring a potential apartment, you’ll want to keep an eye out for pet cleanup stations throughout the community. Check the spacing between the cleanup stations, see if they are stocked with doggie bags, and take note of whether the receptacles are clean and have been recently emptied. Some apartments in the area even offer doggie DNA services that help identify when owners do not clean up after their pet. Both of these features help ensure that the community will be clean of doggie debris, so you’ll never have to think twice about walking through grassy areas.

What are you waiting for? To kick-start your apartment search, you can check out this list of pet friendly apartments in Orlando. If you own a pet over 65 lbs. or are worried about breed restrictions, you can also check Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando’s Apartment Registry for a list of apartments in Orlando that have extremely pet friendly policies.

All Pet Alliance locations are closed Saturday, February 10. Come see us at Paws in the Park